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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Questions and Answers
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Chandra Images
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Animations & Video: Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
Page 1234567
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Great Observatory Views of Sombrero Galaxy
QuicktimeMPEG This is a Great Observatory view of the famous Sombrero galaxy using the Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. The first image shows the composite version, followed by the three separate observatory views. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of galaxy members and background objects. The Hubble optical image (green) shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust. The Spitzer image (red) shows the rim of dust glowing in the infrared and a central bulge of stars.
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(X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of M31
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of M31 represents a study of six elliptical galaxies that Chandra made to determine what causes an important type of supernova. At the heart of M31, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, Chandra detects X-rays. The X-ray glow is partially caused by the aftermath of exploded stars known as supernovas. By examining the properties of the X-rays, scientists have figured out that one class of supernovas in these galaxies, known as Type Ia, are caused when two white dwarf stars merge. Understanding how Type Ia supernovas are triggered is important, since these objects are used to measure vast distances across the cosmos.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MPA/M.Gilfanov & A.Bogdan), Infrared (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC), Optical (DSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of Multiwavelength Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way combines a near-infrared view from Hubble, an infrared image from Spitzer, and X-ray data from Chandra. The composite image features the spectacle of galactic evolution: from vibrant regions of star birth to young and old stellar populations and even to the eerie remains of stellar death called black holes. All of this occurs against a fiery backdrop in the crowded, hostile environment of the galaxy's core, the center of which is ruled by a supermassive black hole. A diffuse haze of X-ray light from hot gas permeates the entire field. This gas has been heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole as well as by winds from massive stars and stellar explosions.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/D.Wang et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/S.Stolovy)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Tour of NGC 6240
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only NGC 6240 is a system in which two supermassive black holes are a mere 3,000 light years apart, virtually nothing in astronomical terms. These black holes -- the two bright point-like sources in the middle -- are in such close proximity, scientists think they are in the act of spiraling toward each other. This is a process that began about 30 million years ago. It's estimated that the two black holes will eventually drift together and merge into a larger black hole some tens to hundreds of millions of years from now.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, M.Nowak); Optical (NASA/STScI))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals a wealth of exotic objects and high-energy features at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In this new and deep image from Chandra, red represents lower-energy X-rays, green shows the medium range, and blue indicates the higher-energy X-rays Chandra can detect. The hundreds of small dots show emission from material around black holes and other dense stellar objects like neutron stars. A supermassive black hole -- some four million times more massive than the Sun -- resides within the bright region to the right of center. The diffuse X-ray light comes from gas heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole, winds from giant stars, and stellar explosions.
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(Credit: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of Galactic Ridge
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This sequence begins with an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope of the central region of the Milky Way. We then zoom into a region about 1.4 degrees away from the center of the galaxy where the Chandra X-ray Observatory focused its attention for about twelve days' worth of time. This region is known as the Galactic Ridge, because earlier X-ray observatories found a structure of diffuse emission stretching across the plane of the galaxy. The new long Chandra observation shows that this X-ray haze is actually composed of thousands of individual sources, like stars and binary systems.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/TUM/M.Revnivtsev et al.); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE Team))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of NGC 604
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only NGC 604 is a divided neighborhood in the galaxy M33, where some 200 hot, young massive stars reside. In this composite image, X-ray data from Chandra are blue, while optical light data from Hubble are seen as red, green and yellow. Bubbles in the cooler gas and dust seen by Hubble have been generated by powerful stellar winds, which are then filled with hot, X-ray-emitting gas. Scientists find the amount of hot gas detected in the bubbles on the right side corresponds to the amount entirely powered by the winds from the 200 massive stars. The situation is different on the left side, where the amount of X-ray gas cannot explain the brightness of the X-ray emission. The bubbles on the left side appear to be much older and were likely created and powered by young stars and supernovas in the past.
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(NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Tuellmann et al.; Optical: NASA/AURA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Tour of M101
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of the spiral galaxy Messier 101 is a composite of observations from NASA's three Great Observatories: the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Chandra's view in X-ray light is seen as blue and reveals multi-million-degree gas, exploded stars, and material colliding around black holes. In red, Spitzer's view in infrared light highlights the heat emitted by dust lanes in the galaxy where stars can form. The yellow shows Hubble's data in visible light. Most of this light also comes from stars, and they trace the same spiral structure as the dust lanes. Such multi-wavelength images allow astronomers to see how features in one wavelength match up with those in another, and give everyone a more complete picture of this beautiful galaxy.
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(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/K.Kuntz et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/JHU/K. Kuntz et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/K. Gordon)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of M84
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only M84 is a massive elliptical galaxy located about 55 million light years from Earth in the Virgo Cluster. This composite image is made from X-rays from Chandra, which are colored blue, and radio emission from the Very Large Array that is seen as red. The interesting thing about this image is that astronomers can trace a number of bubbles generated by particles moving at nearly the speed of light. These particles are propelled by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy in the form of a two-sided jet. By studying objects like M84, astronomers hope to better understand how black holes influence the environments that surround them.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MPE/A.Finoguenov et al.); Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/ESO/R.A.Laing et al); Optical (SDSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M84

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of M81
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of the mammoth spiral galaxy M81, located about 12 million light years away, contains data from four different NASA satellites. First we see infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, followed by optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Galex Satellite shows us what M81 looks like in ultraviolet emission. And finally, x-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals what is going on at higher energies. At the center of M81, there is a supermassive black hole that is about 70 million times more massive than the sun. A new study involving Chandra and other telescopes helps astronomers better understand how this black hole is growing.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Wisconsin/D.Pooley & CfA/A.Zezas; Optical: NASA/ESA/CfA/A.Zezas; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J.Huchra et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M81

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